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Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Steven Kitshoff says Springboks expecting immense pressure, incredible atmosphere against All Blacks

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Springbok prop Steven Kitshoff said that if tomorrow’s World Cup final was consistent with the current trend of matches between South Africa and the All Blacks, the result is “50-50”.

Kitshoff said yesterday from Paris that a lot of the Bok team went through a lot of pain at the hands of the New Zealand at the beginning of their international careers but the playing field is now even.

“We all know how good the All Blacks are and how well they’ve been playing. And having started my international career in 2016, we struggled to get a victory over them until 2018 and from there, it has been very 50-50,” the loosehead prop said.

“This weekend will be similar – it is going to be exciting, different, a massive and historic game. The pressure is going to be immense and the atmosphere incredible.”

The former Stormers captain said a potential game-breaker for the Boks is their very own “Viking”, RG Snyman, who scored the try against England in the semi-final to get the defending champions back into the game.

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“RG is an incredible team man. The way he helps the team plan for the line-outs in the week is exceptional,” Kitshoff said.

“We all remember the Bomb Squad in 2019 and the energy we had – he’s taken that same role this year and has been playing great rugby and brought next-level physicality.

“He’s a giant among men. I am extremely proud and so fortunate to have him in our team.”

Kitshoff said that on Monday, the coaching staff laid down the gauntlet to the Bok forwards.

“Rassie (Erasmus) and Jacques (Nienaber) had a meeting on Monday where they announced who was playing. They said it would come down to the forwards and how we pitch up. We have to give a platform to the backs to show their magic and X-factor,” he said.

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“We all know the brand and style the All Blacks play with and how dynamic they can be.

“But for us, it’s about our workrate, the physicality, the line-out, the maul…

“We have got the opportunity to play 40-45 minutes.

“It’s about emptying the tank and giving absolutely everything to make sure you leave nothing out there. It’s all about an 80, 85, 100-minute performance.”

@MIkeGreenaway67

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